The way of pain

November 25th, 2004 § 2 comments

Tenth day at the gym. After more than ten years without any kind of regular exercise. In the first two days, every workout session seemed like torture. Climbing down the gym stairs to go home, I felt my legs wobble as if they were made of jelly. At least, as my instructor said — and I didn’t believe at first — the worst pains were over in five days.

The last time I exercised regularly was in the high school. Even then, I had to be forced to practice any kind of sports. Except for the sporadic basketball, which I liked, anything else only contributed to my skipping the classes every occasion I could.

I remember testing my physical condition with the Cooper test back then. Two thousand and four hundred meters in twelve minutes. I finished it gasping, very proud of my result — just to find out later that I was barely the average range. From there, things only got worse. When every flight of steps leaves you out of breath, you know it’s time to do something about it.

I don’t know what’s worse: wake up in early in the morning, something completely incompatible with my lifestyle, or get to destroy myself in a treadmill or an exercise bike. Thinking better of it, I guess there are things worse then that; for example, see an woman twenty years older than me lift four times more weight than I’m able too, without hardly breaking a sweat. At least I’m already seeing some progress in my efforts.

Anyway, after ten days, I feel better. I’m able to finish every exercise series assigned to me, and I’m feeling my body grow more flexible. Muscles I didn’t even know existed are hurting all over my body, but helping me too. The only thing I think I’ll dislike forever is the exercise bike. I’m required to pedal for twenty minutes, and I can’t take my eyes out of the clock, counting every second still remaining.

Now, I just need persistence. As the old saying goes: if it isn’t hurting, it’s not working. But I’m just being way too dramatic about the whole thing; working out is not that bad, especially after it, when you are full of endorphin. Speaking of endorphin, a few days ago, I was waiting at the doctor’s office, leafing through a health magazine, when I found an article saying that regular sex (every other day, that is) is equivalent to a regular program of aerobic exercises. Good to know.


§ 2 Responses to The way of pain"

  • You sound like me, four years ago. From my experience, two advices:

    1) If you get fed up with the gym, take a planned one month break, and restart training on a lighter schedule. Mark the restart day on your planner. Even exercising one time per week is good and shows results.

    2) Get something to do while on the bike. After some time the physical effort isn’t quite so taxing, but the idle mind time is. I do 45min on the bike, but make it so that I’m on the bike on time to see an interesting debate TV show I like. If the gym has no TVs get an iPod and some podcasts or music.

  • Ronaldo says:

    Thanks for the advice. It’s been two weeks now, and I’m feeling better already. I guess my body is getting used to the effort of making an effort. 🙂

    About the bike, I find something to do when I’m on it. It’s really hard to complete the alloted time when you don’t have anything to thing about but the remaining time…

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